Laundry detergents come into contact with skin and stay on your skin more than virtually any other product you’re likely to use. If you have sensitive skin, this can spell a constant battle with contact allergies from your laundry detergent. The good news is that learning how to cope with your laundry detergent allergy is simply a matter of making a couple of minor changes in your everyday routine. With just these small measures, you can effectively manage your laundry detergent allergy. If allergy symptoms persist, discuss the symptoms with your doctor or a qualified allergist.
Determine the source of the allergy
Even if you’re certain that your laundry detergent is the source of your allergy, it’s still a good idea to make sure that’s the issue before taking steps to fix it. The symptoms of a laundry detergent allergy are likely to appear in many different areas of your body, making it difficult to be certain of everything with which the afflicted skin has come into contact. If possible, have an allergy panel test done. While it may not be possible to narrow it down to the exact ingredient that’s causing the problem, it is useful information to have.
Select a good detergent
Of all of the common ingredients in laundry detergents, fragrances are the most likely to elicit an allergic response. There are many good fragrance-free or low-fragrance detergents on the market. In addition, a number of products marketed as “skin friendly” opt for less-irritating cleansers and other such ingredients. Many of these fragrance-free and low-irritation products will have such things as “skin friendly” or “dermatologist recommended” marked on the packaging.
Make your own detergent
If you can’t find a good skin-friendly laundry detergent, or don’t want to put all of the time and expense into experimenting with them, then consider making your own. This allows you to control exactly what goes into your detergent, leaving out all of the commercial additives that really aren’t necessary just to get your clothing clean. There are a number of laundry detergent recipes available on the Internet, many of which only include three simple ingredients. Once you’ve determined that these three ingredients do not cause an allergic reaction, you can build up the fragrances and additives as desired. Just make sure to add ingredients one at a time, and give it a couple of weeks to ensure that your skin doesn’t react to it before adding more.
Reduce contact to the detergent
You can cope with your laundry detergent allergy much easier if you simply don’t come into contact with detergent often or for prolonged periods of time. If you use powdered detergent, don’t store the measuring scoop in the container. Instead, take it out and rinse it every time, giving yourself a clean surface to hold while measuring out powder. After you’ve handled any type of detergent container, wash your hands immediately; try not to touch any other part of your body, especially your face, before washing. Though it does use extra water, consider doing a second rinse on all of your laundry in order to ensure that as much detergent as possible has been removed from the load.
In most cases, these few simple measures can reduce or eliminate your laundry detergent allergy symptoms. If they do not, then seek out help from an allergy professional in order to come up with a more detailed plan for managing your moderate to severe allergy.